Quantcast Using a PAL VCR player in the US? - digitalFAQ Forum
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05-26-2019, 01:52 PM
mikeG mikeG is offline
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Hi All, Long time reader, first time poster. I need to convert some PAL S-VHS and VHS tapes. I'm based in the US and have been looking at the recommend PAL models here on this site. I can't seen to find any advice on how to deal with the power difference issues in using a PAL player over here. Most of the models I've seen aren't switchable from 220v to 110v. Will a voltage converter work? Anyone have experience with this?

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  #2  
05-26-2019, 06:03 PM
colony colony is offline
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Yes, a voltage converter which steps up from 110 to 220V works. Just make sure that your particular PAL S-VHS machine operates at (both) 50/60 Hz. If so, the voltage converter will do the rest here in the U.S. at 60 Hz.

I have a JVC HR-S7611 for my PAL tapes and it works fine with a converter. Use a converter that can handle the wattage of your deck.
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05-26-2019, 06:36 PM
mikeG mikeG is offline
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Excellent! Thanks!
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05-26-2019, 08:16 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Most JVC VCR's especially the newer ones have switched power supplies, So the VCR works out of DC voltage for all of its components such as motor servo's, signal pulse generators ..etc, The only thing that uses AC current (low voltage) is the VFD display, Which it will flicker less with 60Hz compared to the original 50Hz. You only need a step up transformer, Avoid cheap ones they got very hot and can cause fire.
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05-26-2019, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeG View Post
I can't seen to find any advice on how to deal with the power difference issues in using a PAL player over here. Most of the models I've seen aren't switchable from 220v to 110v. Will a voltage converter work? Anyone have experience with this?
Thanks!
I've been using PAL VCRs in USA for 15+ years now. No power conversion is required, only a plug shape adapter. As latreche34 has mentioned, almost all mid/late 90s to 2000s JVC S-VHS VCRs used 50/60Hz ~ 110/120-220/240V power. I've actually not come across a PAL VCR that will not work. Simply stick to the suggested VCR list. A few models don't actually listed 110/120, such as the SR-VS30E, but still do have the universal power.

You must remember that S-VHS VCRs were designed in Asia, and as such contain universal power supplies. It's actually hard to find truly 110/120-only or 220/240-only power supplies for electronics, and has been this way for decades now. Even many that only list 110/120 or 220/240 are universal inside.

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Originally Posted by colony View Post
Yes, a voltage converter which steps up from 110 to 220V works. Just make sure that your particular PAL S-VHS machine operates at (both) 50/60 Hz. If so, the voltage converter will do the rest here in the U.S. at 60 Hz.
I have a JVC HR-S7611 for my PAL tapes and it works fine with a converter. Use a converter that can handle the wattage of your deck.
Beware of this. Step converters often give out dirty power, and introduce signal noise to video equipment. VCRs and TBCs should especially use native power when possible, and it's almost always possible.

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05-27-2019, 02:27 AM
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If you find you have to use a 220/50Hz one option is a 220volt 50 Hz - 12 Volt Power Inverter.

These are made for the UK/Euro market and can be powered off a 12 Volt mobile power source. They make mobile power sources for emergencies, camping and remote filming. The mobile power sources have 12 volt accessory ports like the old cigarette lighter port in a car (I think the port is universal around the world).

This is an example of a 12 volt to 220 volt, 50 Hz Power inverter with UK/Euro plug: ERP400-12

This is an example of a 12 volt portable power source: Anker Powerhouse

You can get far smaller, less expensive 12 volt DC UPS device: APC Router UPS

but you might need a connector: Female Socket to 12 volt connector

Last edited by jwillis84; 05-27-2019 at 03:23 AM.
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  #7  
05-27-2019, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
If you find you have to use a 220/50Hz one option is a 220volt 50 Hz - 12 Volt Power Inverter.
These are made for the UK/Euro market and can be powered off a 12 Volt mobile power source. They make mobile power sources for emergencies, camping and remote filming. The mobile power sources have 12 volt accessory ports like the old cigarette lighter port in a car (I think the port is universal around the world).
This is an example of a 12 volt to 220 volt, 50 Hz Power inverter with UK/Euro plug: ERP400-12
This is an example of a 12 volt portable power source: Anker Powerhouse
You can get far smaller, less expensive 12 volt DC UPS device: APC Router UPS
but you might need a connector: Female Socket to 12 volt connector
Again, beware of this. Step converters often give out dirty power, and introduce signal noise to video equipment. VCRs and TBCs should especially use native power when possible, and it's almost always possible.

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  #8  
05-27-2019, 10:52 AM
mikeG mikeG is offline
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Quote:
I've been using PAL VCRs in USA for 15+ years now. No power conversion is required, only a plug shape adapter. As latreche34 has mentioned, almost all mid/late 90s to 2000s JVC S-VHS VCRs used 50/60Hz ~ 110/120-220/240V power. I've actually not come across a PAL VCR that will not work. Simply stick to the suggested VCR list. A few models don't actually listed 110/120, such as the SR-VS30E, but still do have the universal power.
This is great to know. I'm trying to stick with the suggested VCR list, but what's been throwing me is that when I look at rear images of a lot of these machines all I see is, "220v-240v." Definitely looking for ones that have 50/60Hz range as well. Most seem to list this. I'd really like to avoid step converters if possible. But it's good to know that some people are using them without issue.
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05-27-2019, 11:26 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Another way to avoid step up transformers is to run 220V from the main panel and install an outlet for it, Off course this requires an electrician if you are not a handyman.
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  #10  
05-28-2019, 12:11 AM
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The plug shape adapters cost about $6 on Amazon or eBay.
There's no need for expensive step adapters, adding outlets, or re-wiring the unit. That all sounds quite insane to me.

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  #11  
05-28-2019, 12:01 PM
mikeG mikeG is offline
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Has anyone had experience running a Panasonic NV-FS 200 in the US?
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  #12  
05-28-2019, 12:20 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The plug shape adapters cost about $6 on Amazon or eBay.
There's no need for expensive step adapters, adding outlets, or re-wiring the unit. That all sounds quite insane to me.
There are exceptions, Some of them are made to run on 220V only, Plugging it to 110V may do some damage or it won't work at all, It's easy look at the back if it says 100-240V that's fine, If it says 220-240V you need an voltage conversion device.
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  #13  
05-28-2019, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
There are exceptions, Some of them are made to run on 220V only, Plugging it to 110V may do some damage or it won't work at all, It's easy look at the back if it says 100-240V that's fine, If it says 220-240V you need an voltage conversion device.
As I state, that's not necessarily true. The SR-VS30E is a good example. It only lists 220-240V/50Hz, but it converts without any issue to 110-120V/60Hz. It has a universal power supply.

If you "need" a step converter, then don't buy that model. Simple as that.

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05-28-2019, 06:11 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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I agree with you but we don't want to be liable for any damage that may occur since we don't know what kind of power supply is inside the member's VCR.
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05-29-2019, 12:10 PM
captainvic captainvic is offline
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I agree with you but we don't want to be liable for any damage that may occur since we don't know what kind of power supply is inside the member's VCR.
Is there a way to know if a deck has universal power by taking the top off and looking at the power supply?

I've been looking at photos showing the back of various JVC decks and I'm finding many that do not list 110/120. If there's something on the power supply itself that confirms it's universal, that would be very helpful.
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05-29-2019, 11:40 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainvic View Post
Is there a way to know if a deck has universal power by taking the top off and looking at the power supply?

I've been looking at photos showing the back of various JVC decks and I'm finding many that do not list 110/120. If there's something on the power supply itself that confirms it's universal, that would be very helpful.
Without a service manual it's hard to tell, Just to be safe as I said look at the tag on the back of the VCR and follow the CE regulations, In general switched power transformers are very small and use PWM to regulate the voltage, Those technically can accept any voltage like laptops, tablets and cell phone chargers. It's up to you to take risks for the VCR, I wouldn't.

I have a dcc deck that I bought from the Netherlands DCC 730 it has old fashion giant ferite core , Philips made several versions of that deck based on the type of voltage, Some have multi switch on the back, But mine was made for the Netherlands only so the transformer has one input only which is 220V, I run it with a step up transformer for a while but now I run a 220V line to the room and put one of those European outlets. It would not pass the inspection but who cares I know it's safe.
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  #17  
07-02-2019, 11:16 AM
mikeG mikeG is offline
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I just wanted to circle back around here and report that the Panasonic NV-FS 200 works fine plugged directly into a standard US 110v outlet, despite the 200-220v labeling on the back of the unit.
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07-02-2019, 01:57 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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You are courageous by taking chances and confirming it has a universal power supply by just plugging it in, A service manual would have confirmed that for you but I'm glad it worked out for you.
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07-02-2019, 04:44 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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As for tv system conversion: don't.... once it's digital, you can play it anywhere...
most DVD/VCR recorder decks have a format mode, which will let you output it's original tv system output format, which you set your capture device settings to.
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  #20  
07-02-2019, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeG View Post
I just wanted to circle back around here and report that the Panasonic NV-FS 200 works fine plugged directly into a standard US 110v outlet, despite the 200-220v labeling on the back of the unit.
Ah, this is excellent news indeed. It seems Panasonic S-VHS is like the Panasonic DVD recorders and JVC S-VHS VCRs. All universal 110/120-220/240 power, only need plug shape adapters when needed. Thanks much for sharing this. Hmm... maybe I should import the NV-HS1000 for myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
You are courageous by taking chances and confirming it has a universal power supply by just plugging it in, A service manual would have confirmed that for you but I'm glad it worked out for you.
I take a lot of risks, when it comes to video, all for the sake of research, and sharing my findings here. I've even started some fires before! I think my riskiest endeavors yet will come from those moldy VHS discussions we're having lately. I'll either completely destroy some gear, or it'll work wonderfuflly. We shall see!

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